Gaining volunteers

You’re the Tiger Leader. You took on the responsibility to help your son. You should be commended for stepping up. Thank you for doing this job! It is good for your son, it is good for Scouting and, though it may not always seem like it, it is good for you.

Being a leader can be a tough job. Not only do you have to prepare the boys to become Bobcats but you have to wrangle the parents, and the meeting place, the snacks, the flags, and the uniforms while you still manage your other children, a household and a career.

Sincerely…thank you for doing this job. One day your son will do something out of the blue that completely takes you by surprise for the maturity and insight his actions display. You will look at him and for a brief moment you will think “Scouts…he picked this up at Scouts.” No, really he gained this behavior because of the time you put into his development.

With that said though, why not make this journey easier on yourself and share that good feeling with the other parents in the den. Here’s one idea to help ease the burden on your time and effort. Gather the parents up for a short, informal chat at each Tiger Den meeting. Tell the parents what you need, and ask if they will be willing to help. Titles are not necessary. Maybe you need someone to help with communication to the pack parents. You don’t need to call that person the secretary, that implies too much responsibility for some parents to take on. Maybe instead, ask if someone will send out an email about the next Den meeting or the upcoming field trip. Once they take this specific task and see how easy it was to complete, they will be back for more.

Think about breaking complex jobs up into bite size portions. There’s 12 months in a year, 12 programs to complete and there just happens to be 12 boys in your Den. Could you throw the topics out on the table and assign each family one month’s program? When they know they’re not in it alone, they will help more readily.

Those are just a couple examples of how you can spread the effort. I like to get all the parents around a big table and then, using just the finger tips on my right hand I try to pick up the table. It won’t budge. Then, one by one, I ask the other parents to join me. When everyone around the table pitches in you’ll be amazed at what you can accomplish.

Please share your techniques for getting parents involved below. All ideas are welcome and appreciated.

Author: RJ Wilson

Improving Scouting in the Kansas City area on volunteer at a time.